Did you know . . .

  • 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in US landfills annually.
  • 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (22%) is recycled.
  • The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail per household, equal to 1.5 trees every yearmore than 100 million trees for all U.S. households combined.
  • Junk mail destroys 100 million trees a year—the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months.
  • Largely due to deforestation, junk mail manufacturing creates as much greenhouse gas emissions annally as 3.7 million cars.
  • Americans pay 370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that does not get recycled.

About.com and Creative Citizen

Reduce Junk Mail By Following These Simple Steps:

National Do Not Mail List
A free services is provided by DirectMail.com. DirectMail.com makes the list available to mailing list owners and users for one reason onlyso they can remove (or add) your name to their lists based on your stated preferences. When you complete the online National Do Not Mail List form, you can indicate if there are any types of mailings you would like to receive from the list provided. DirectMail.com will then contact you every six months via e-mail so you can review and update your preferences.

Mail Preference Service

You can register online or by regular mail with the Mail Preference Service, which charges $1 for the service. Your request will be good for five years, and you cannot state preferences.

NOTE: Neither DirectMail.com nor the Mail Preference Service can guarantee that your name will be removed from all mailing lists on which you appear. Therefore, you may want to try some of the suggestions outlined below as well.

Credit Offers
The major credit agencies all sell aggregate credit information to any bidder. Direct mail and credit companies generate mail based on demographics including zip code, income band, and credit payment patterns. Stopping this is easy, you just need your address, former address within two years, and social security number. One call does it all for agencies (Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis). Dial 1-888-OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day.


When you order something from a catalog, your name and address is likely given to Abacus, an alliance of mostly catalog and publishing companies. To have your information removed from Abacus, contact them with your name (including any middle initial), current address,, and previous address if you moved recently. Abacus can be reached either via e-mail (abacusoptout@epsilon.com) or by mail (Abacus, Inc,. PO Box 1478, Broomfield, CO 80038).


Whenever you subscribe to a magazine, join a group, or make a donation and supply them with your name and address, ask that they not rent your name to other companies. Your request may be ignored, so it is best to contact them a few weeks later and make this request again.


To be removed from the mailing list of major sweepstakes mailers, contact the following:

  • Publishers Clearing House: Online, e-mail, or by mail to Consumer & Privacy Affairs, Publishers Clearinghouse, 382 Channel Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050
  • Reader's Digest Sweepstakes: By phone (800-310-6261) or mail to Reader's Digest, PO Box 50005, Prescott, AZ 86301-5005

Banks & Credit Card Companies

Contact your banks and credit card companies and tell them not to release your name, address, social security number, e-mail address, or phone number to anyone for any type of marketing or promotional reasons.

Other Junk Mail Resources